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A substance that promotes retention of moisture.
Promoting retention of moisture.

[From Latin hūmectāns, hūmectānt-, present participle of hūmectāre, to moisten, from hūmectus, moist, from hūmēre, to be moist.]


(Chemistry) producing moisture
(Chemistry) a substance added to another substance to keep it moist
[C17: from Latin ūmectāre to wet, from ūmēre to be moist, from ūmor moisture; see humour]


(hyuˈmɛk tənt; often yu-)

1. a substance that absorbs or helps another substance retain moisture, as glycerol.
2. moistening; diluting.
[1650–60; < Latin hūmectant-, s. of (h)ūmectāns, present participle of (h)ūmectāre to moisten, derivative of (h)ūmectus moist, damp]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.humectant - any substance that is added to another substance to keep it moist
substance - a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties; "shigella is one of the most toxic substances known to man"
propanediol, propylene glycol - a sweet colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid used as an antifreeze and in brake fluid and also as a humectant in cosmetics and personal care items although it can be absorbed through the skin with harmful effects
References in periodicals archive ?
It is a humectant, meaning it can bind water to the skin to increase hydration, and also improve its softness and elasticity.
It is a natural humectant - a substance used to retain moisture - that can hydrate skin and boost firmness and plumpness.
Honey is a great humectant and has over 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000-plus enzymes.
From the point of view of nasal sprays, it provides a "cooling sensation" and is a humectant so it encourages moisture retention.
ElfaMoist AC humectant (INCI proposed: N-Acetyl DGA) from AkzoNobel easily penetrates the stratum comeum to deliver and increase hydration, and keep skin moisturized for 30 hours--with just a single application.
An appropriate choice of humectant is therefore a prerequisite for preserving the intermediately moistened texture of such jerky products.
It can even analyse products or ingredients containing the humectant propylene glycol, alcohol or soy sauce.
Back in the 1950s, Dow Chemical promoted its glycols by highlighting the humectant and softening effect in cigarettes.
Zemea USP Propanediol is a natural solvent and humectant that can be used to replace petroleum-based propylene glycol or glycerin in a variety of food and beverage products.
It also functions as a humectant, keeping a product moist.